Bee Roots for 2023-08-10

The table provides clues for the roots of words in today's NY Times Spelling Bee. You're responsible for prefixes, suffixes, tense changes, plurals, doubling consonants before suffixes, and alternate spellings of roots. An exception: since Sam won't allow S, when the root contains an S, the clue may be for a plural or suffixed form. "Mice" for example. If a clue isn't self-explanatory, try googling it. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle
  • Letters: O/ABEKLN
  • Words: 55
  • Points: 168
  • Pangrams: 1

Table content

  • with first two letters of answer and length
answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
1AB7Sea snail whose shell is shiny inside
1AE4Geologic time period, spelled with an æsc; “… Flux” anime
1AL4Sunburn gel from “… vera” plant
1AL5Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
1AN9Part of the skeleton that connects your foot to your leg, compound pangram (the plural is often in Bee as “tali”)
1AN4Soon, poetically
1BA6Large monkey with red butt
1BA7Helium or air filled toy that can pop
1BA6African tree
1BL4Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
1BL5Brit & Aussie slang for guy
1BO4Taiwan sweet tea with gelatin pearls
1BO6Type of “head” doll that nods when moved
1BO4Thrown weighted string weapon
1BO4Cotton seed target for weevil
1BO4Western string tie
1BO6Candy, or 2X “good" in French
1BO4Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
1BO4Hit your head (1960s “Batman” sound effect), or have sex with in Brit slang
1BO6Small ape related to chimps
1BO4Breast, slang
1BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
2BO4,8Printed novel, noun; or reserve something, verb
1BO4Favor, poetic (grant me a …), noun
1EB4Black, poetic; and/or black wood (“… & Ivory”)
1EN7Aristocrat, aristocratic, or righteous, NOT a Peace Prize from Oslo
1KA5Meat on a skewer (shish …)
1KE4Betting game similar to bingo or lotto, often done at restaurants, where you pick numbers that you hope will be drawn
1KN4Radio volume or tuning dial, or door handle you turn
1KN5Small mound (the grassy…)
1KO5Tree climbing marsupial “bear”
1KO4Zen Buddhist paradoxical riddle or story for meditation, anagram of Hawaiian district or coffee grown there
1KO4Small African tree with nuts that flavor Pepsi
1KO4Crazy or eccentric person, NOT a chef
1LL5South American grassy plain
2LO4,8Borrowed $, noun/verb
1LO4Brain section, or part of ear most commonly pierced
1LO4Wolf, Spanish
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO4Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
1LO4Direct one’s gaze toward someone or something, verb/noun
1LO4“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1NA5Conspicuously rich person, as in VP Agnew’s “nattering …s of negativism”
1NE4Atomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NO5Aristocrat, aristocratic, or righteous, NOT a Peace Prize from Oslo
1NO4Xmas time, or playwright Coward
1NO4Quantity of zero; “all” antonym
1NO4Beginner, gamer slang
1NO4Barnes & Noble e-reader, or secluded corner
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1OA5Tree that makes acorns
1OB4Double reed orchestra-tuning instrument

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It follows in Kevin Davis' footsteps. The original set of 4,500 clues came from him, and they still make up about three quarters of the current clue set.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. As logophiles, we are pretty good at putting on prefixes and suffixes, changing tense, and forming plurals (including Latin plurals!). The clues cover root words, arranged alphabetically by root word, with a count of words in the puzzle that come from each root. For example, if a puzzle includes ROAM and ROAMING, there will be a clue for ROAM and a count of 2. The root may not appear in the puzzle at all; for example, the 2021-07-23 Bee included ICED, DEICE, and DEICED. For such a puzzle, the clue would be for ICE with a word count of 3.

The Bee Roots approach involves judgement sometimes. For example, if a puzzle includes LOVE, LOVED, and LOVELY, how many roots are needed to cover them? LOVE and LOVED share the root LOVE, certainly, but LOVELY is tricky. LOVE is part of its etymology, but by now, the word means "exquisitely beautiful," which is a lot farther from the meaning of LOVE than swithcing to past tense. I'm inclined to treat LOVE and LOVELY as separate roots. You may not agree, which is fine. Another thing we logophiles share is a LOVE of arguing about words on Twitter.

A few words can have one meaning as a suffixed form and another as a stand-alone word. EVENING, for example. In those cases I will use the meaning that I think is more common.

One last complication, until another one pops up: a few roots have multiple spellings, for example LOLLYGAG and LALLYGAG. Depending on the day's letters, and maybe even the editor's whims, one or both could be in the puzzle's answer list. With such roots, you could see a word count of 2, even if there are no applicable prefixes or suffixes.

I will do my best to keep this site up to date and helpful (I hope). Check it out, and tweet feedback to @donswartwout Tweet to @donswartwout